“Makuta Teridax, what do you have to say in defence of your crimes?”
“I determine myself to be not guilty, your honour. I feel that my actions were both justified and necessary.”
“The spread of darkness, the creeping of evil throughout the known universe?”
“I do not see it as that.”
The once great Makuta Teridax stood proud and tall before the judge of the court, and all others. He seemed regal, satisfied, as if his purpose had been completed.
“Forty-seven counts of murder of your own species, nigh on five hundred thousand other murders to activate your plan, near eradication of Toa of iron and Toa of gravity, eighteen major counts of manipulation, near six hundred thousand minor counts of manipulation, abuse of powers, usurping of control of the universe from the great spirit Mata-Nui. Those are but some of your crimes, Makuta.”
“I reply your honour, that it was all necessary. What was our universe before I came along? Thanks to my own brotherhood, Rahi were beginning to overpopulate- so I ordered the creation of the Visorak as a way to moderate those numbers.”
“The Visorak wiped out entire nations! They killed everything they could, and what they could not, they mutated and turned to complete beast hood!” a cry rang out.
Teridax turned and smiled grimly at the speaker- Toa Norik.
“Perhaps it was not the greatest solution... but it was the only one the genius Chirox found. What else was wrong? There was too much peace. The Hand of Artahka, the Brotherhood of Makuta, the Order of Mata-Nui, and the Toa... what is the good of keeping the peace if there is nothing to keep the peace from?”
“Too much peace?” this time Toa Helryx spoke, scoffing. “There can never be such a thing!”
Teridax chuckled, pointing at another Toa in the stands at Takanuva, and the being beside him.
“Those two, and I, know that there is such a thing as too much peace.” He said.
Takanuva shifted uncomfortably, and Teridax chuckled again at the minor victory.
“I gave races meaning. Before me, if you were not a Matoran or Toa, you did not belong in major cities such as Metru-Nui. My new Brotherhood of Makuta gave the Skakdi their powers, for example.”
“The Skakdi entered a massive civil war!” Turaga Dume now added his voice to the protests. “One that has only recently ended!”
“And who ended it?” Teridax asked quietly. “Me. It was under my orders that the Skakdi were given powers-”
“You even hunted down the Makuta that did it!” Turaga Dume interrupted.
“I did not mean for him to mess up so- nor did I order the hunt. It was no longer safe for him. Why do you think he was never caught?”
The Turaga fell silent, and Teridax continued.
“It was because of me Skakdi were given powers, and because of me they made peace with each other and are now prosperous. It was I who, behind the scenes, industrialized the Vortixx, with the help of the Makuta Mutran, Icarax, and Tridax. It was I who, with the help of Vamprah, began the trading on Stelt.”
“You ordered the Mask of light be stolen from Artahka.” Toa Gaaki now spoke. “You ordered the creation of the Mask of time so that you wouldn’t have to wait around while your plan did its work and Mata-Nui died.”
“Dear Toa, I never wanted to kill Mata-Nui.” Teridax laughed. “I needed him alive- and an excuse to remove the Kanohi Ignika, curse that it is, from this universe. I needed the Matoran to help me if possible, and the Mask of time would have sped up that process. The Mask of light would’ve been destroyed if I hadn’t taken it- I enabled the creation of Takanuva.”
Artahka, sitting in the judge’s seat, now spoke again.
“You’ve lied to everyone.” Teridax interrupted. “Kojol discovered the plan to do so, and so I had him steal it. And then you had him and everyone else who knew the location of your island killed... is that what someone truly on the side of the light would do?”
“Don’t listen to him!” Turaga Vakama spoke up frantically. “He’s trying to divide us, spread discord, and unleash the shadows-”
“Shadows that you’ve already fallen prey to once, Vakama.” Teridax warned before continuing, “I was right in that instance, wasn’t I?”
“You... you were....” Artahka glanced around the court room. “Yes. Yes, you were right.”
Chaos broke out, and Makuta Teridax sat back, watching it all. The Makuta that took over the universe had been the one to engineer the creation of the Toa of light? That was something the numerous Toa and Matoran in the room simply could not allow themselves to accept or believe.
When Artahka finally regained control, he spoke once more to Teridax.
“You tried to stop the Matoran Takua from completing his journey, and unleashed Rahkshi on him. How does that aid the light?”
“I turned him away by taunting him, yes.” Teridax acknowledged. “However, I then manipulated the events- and those involved in them- so that he would emerge stronger for it. The death of his Matoran friend I also made sure would occur- because I knew he could come back.”
The Makuta paused to let his words sink in.
“When Toa Takanuva combined with me to form Takutanuva, why do you think my mind did not instantly crush his? I have crushed the minds of fellow Makuta! Both of us needed to form Takutanuva, so that we could break the barrier to Metru-Nui and revive Jaller. You have all never questioned why Takutanuva was on your side, either. Any Makuta can absorb a Toa with ease- I know of only one time where the Toa prevailed. This was not that time. If it was, I would not be here. We were in harmony, though Takanuva did not know it.”
“What about Metru-Nui?” Turaga Dume questioned. “You impersonated me. You had the Toa assassinated. You caused the Great Cataclysm.”
At this, jeers targeted at Teridax filled the room.
“True, I did.” Teridax shrugged. “I impersonated you for nearly three hundred years- a time which was amongst the most prosperous Metru-Nui ever knew. The Toa were beginning to grow corrupted, overconfident in their power- and after the incident with the Toa Hagah stealing the Kanohi Avohkii from the Brotherhood and delaying events, I had to take as few risks as possible. The Toa had to be removed.”
“And the Great Cataclysm?”
“Necessary to put Mata-Nui into the coma, which enabled me to take his place. The loss of the Vahi was a hard hit here, and I had to unleash many menaces on the island of Mata-Nui in order to delay the return to Metru-Nui until the time was right.”
“You can’t have planned this all.” Turaga Vakama replied.
“Vakama, I told you once that I had plans within plans, plans for every setback.” Teridax responded. “Did you not believe me?”
The Turaga fell silent.
“Unfortunately, one setback I did not plan for was that separating from Takanuva would cause my essence to disperse, to the point where I very nearly died. I used the last of my strength, desperately, to send the Piraka to Voya-Nui, where Zaktan, who knew of my plans, tricked the other Piraka into believing they were to cause evil, all the while cultivating me, restoring me.”
Teridax paused to let it sink in before continuing.
“However, the other Piraka began to prove too much for Zaktan to handle- and it was becoming clear that revealing his intentions would mean his death. So I sent them into the pit, where all six were rendered incapable of causing any harm. Then I went into the Maxilos robot, freeing the Toa Matoro, who I knew was the next- and most important- piece of the game.”
Teridax glanced over to where the five remaining Toa Mahri were watching, and then to the jailer Hydraxon, who stood by the door.
“I could have killed the other Toa Mahri, Hydraxon, and the Barraki at a moment’s notice if I’d wished to do so. Matoro was the only one I needed, and it would’ve been simple to force him to use the mask. However, I preferred as few deaths as possible- Hydraxon would capture the Barraki in time, and the Toa Mahri were not tainted by evil.”
“This doesn’t explain why you felt the need to replace Mata-Nui and be worshipped.” Helryx spoke.
“Mata-Nui had forgotten us- in the beginning we Makuta were numerous, but with the experiments we did came deaths. After a time, he stopped making new Makuta, and our number dwindled down. I, Brutaka, and the light Teridax remain the last three of our kind in this universe and I am the only completely original Makuta left from this universe. I then began to notice less Toa appearing, less Matoran being created- and then none of any species. Production halted. You ever notice that the Toa are extremely close to extinction?”
The Toa Mahri glanced at each other with unease as Makuta spoke again.
“I care for the universe. Mata-Nui began to care only for his mission, and as it turns out, there’s now a mysterious being hunting the most powerful of our number while a machine kills any Toa that strays out of sight. All Mata-Nui cared for was completing his mission, which doing so appears to have certified the death of all of us in time.” Teridax explained. “I hoped to stop it, as my destiny was to replace Mata-Nui in case something went wrong, which it did- Mata-Nui forgot.”
“What about the murders of the remaining Makuta once your plan was complete?” Helryx demanded.
“They had all been corrupt for a long time.” Teridax informed them. “I saw what was happening before Miserix did, and used the chance to take over and moderate them. They needed to die.”
“Did Krika need to die? Did Icarax?” Gali Nuva finally added her voice to the throng, having sat silent amongst the explanations and accusations.
Makuta Teridax’s eyes narrowed. “I gather you have information that I did not have....”
“Makuta Krika felt regret for his actions, and attempted to warn me of what was to happen- until he was interrupted by the arrival of more battle. I didn’t listen at the time, but I understood later he’d meant what he said.”
Makuta Teridax hung his head as Takanuva now spoke.
“Krika did seem frustrated by my arrival... and both he and Icarax worked to try and destroy the Codrex, thus ruining your plan and saving the universe.”
“I... did not know that. I was busy in the mainframe.” Teridax’s whisper carried throughout the room. “Had I known... Krika would have been reprieved.”
“What about Icarax?” Helryx challenged.
Teridax glanced at her, amused again. “Dear Helryx, you must know how Icarax was- always trying to grab my power. With the secret of how to defeat me, you can bet he would’ve used it eventually.”
“I say enough of your lies.” Artahka rumbled before the Makuta could continue. “I do not believe you- as such, your death is imminent. You may now say any final words you might have, scum.”
Teridax glanced to him. “I was in the right- and you were all, albeit unknowingly, in the wrong.” The Makuta then shifted his gaze to Takanuva and the Light Teridax.
“Keep my memory alive.” He told them, a hint of plead and desperation in his voice. “You both know what can happen with too much peace- I beg you, do not let it happen here.”
He then raised his head, standing proud and tall as Artahka loomed over him.
“Goodbye.” The once great Makuta said.
Artahka’s staff pointed, a flash of light, and Makuta Teridax was no more.